Finding the Best Price-Performance Ratio Laptops
Well-equipped laptops with a good price-performance ratio offer the advantage of having a powerful computer available wherever you are. If the laptops are also compact and lightweight, you can easily transport them. Easily check your incoming e-mails or surf the Internet spontaneously. The range of laptops offered by many manufacturers is diverse. Perhaps you belong to the group of people who are unsure which device is suitable for them.
With the following buying guide and test of 3 different laptops with a great price-performance ratio, we want to support you in your choice. We present you 3 good laptops from different companies. You will receive all relevant information about the features and functions of the devices. In the following guide you will learn the most important purchase features and receive further information about laptops.
Many people think you have to spend a fortune for a laptop but by taking into accoung the price-performance ratio you can get a laptop with as much power as you need for a fair price. Many test magazines do not check the price-performance ratio, but for the customer this is one of the most important metrics.
Test Results: Best price-performance ratio Laptops
Ranking First: Huawei Matebook 13
- Beautiful, compact design.
- Colorful display with 3:2 aspect ratio.
- Great performance
- USB-C docker included
- No SD card slot
- No Thunderbolt 3
Solid price-performance ratio for a mid-range laptop
Huawei doesn’t concentrate on the widest possible selection of different equipment in its notebooks, but only offers a basic configuration, which is, however, completely coordinated. In the current MateBook 13, an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U processor provides a lot of power, which is also very energy-efficient. The maximum clock rate is 3.7 Gigahertz and despite the display diagonal of 13 inches, the laptop is still very compact and therefore easy to transport. You don’t have to worry about security on the road and in an office environment, as the office laptop can optionally be unlocked with a fingerprint sensor and with an optional cable lock, the MateBook can be protected as well.
The 256 gigabyte SSD also ensures fast operation, offering significantly faster access times compared to conventional hard drives. The storage space isn’t very high, but it’s sufficient for office programs and own data. Those who want to store more data on their notebook can also exchange the SSD or use an external hard drive.
Those who own a smartphone from Huawei can also use the “Huawei Share” function. Here, one simply places the smartphone on a marked spot next to the touchpad and can thus transfer data and more from the mobile phone to the laptop and back again without any problems.
Processing and battery life
For a fair price, the Huawei MateBook 13 has a metal case and is very well manufactured. The underside is also made of aluminum and not, as with many competitors, of plastic. Thus, it is extremely stable and can be seen in any environment. Huawei offers the MateBook only in the color “Space Grey”. But it looks very attractive and makes a good impression in any environment.
Those who travel a lot or have to work with a notebook at various locations within the company will be pleased with the low weight of only 2.9 lbs. Thus, the office laptop is very light and can be taken everywhere without any problems.
But not only the weight, but also the battery life is important for frequent travelers. Here, the Huawei MateBook 13 can’t quite score points; on a work day with eight hours, you could possibly get into trouble without a power adapter when doing more demanding tasks. Under average load, the battery should be sufficient for about 6 hours. In a bright office environment, a somewhat lower display brightness is also sufficient and then you should be able to work a whole working day with the Matebook. All in all for the price-performance ratio the battery performance is pretty solid.
In comparison to our former favorite, the Acer Swift 3, the Huawei MateBook 13 is also powered by a fast 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U. The 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U is as economical as the competition and offers a lot of power and an automatic turbo clock of up to 3.7 GHz. This provides a good boost in speed, especially when starting programs.
The Intel processor is equipped with four computing cores, which can handle up to eight tasks simultaneously thanks to the integration of hyperthreading, because the technology provides each core with a virtual counterpart. This means that there is always enough power for everyday computing. In contrast to many other notebooks, the MateBook 13 doesn’t slow down its performance when running for a long time.
The main memory with eight gigabytes of DDR4 RAM is completely sufficient for an office notebook. Not only does it run Windows smoothly, but all other applications are also supplied with enough memory. The fast SSD also means that users aren’t slowed down by long breaks in which the laptop accesses files on the hard drive. A conventional HDD is slower because the read and write head first has to retrieve the correct data on the rotating magnetic disks. With an SSD, on the other hand, the operating system accesses the flash memory directly and is therefore much faster.
In addition, due to the mechanical, moving small parts, an HDD is not as robust as an SSD, which merely consists of a circuit board with soldered memory components. But flash memories are much more expensive, which is why often only small capacities are used. The SSD installed here therefore offers “only” 256 gigabytes of memory, which is sufficient for Word and Excel files and photos. If you have a lot of data, sooner or later you will have to think about a new SSD or an external hard drive.
Those who also want to play something on the notebook or do complex multimedia tasks have to limit themselves a bit: The integrated graphics solution Intel HD Graphics 620 is too weak for that. It can handle current codecs such as HEVC (H.265) and the copy protection HDCP – this is important for example when playing 4K content from Netflix or YouTube. Watching videos is no problem, but you shouldn’t edit videos or play demanding games with the MateBook 13. Simple image editing is no problem. That is great performance for the price you have to pay, resulting in a great price-performance ratio.
The cooling of the components inside the laptop from Huawei is done by a single fan, which is hardly audible under low computing load. Even under heavy load the fan only makes a little more noise – very nice! The case gets noticeably warmer, but not really hot, so the device can be used on the lap at any time. It’s also pleasing that the processor isn’t throttled down despite the relatively quiet fan, so that the office notebook doesn’t run hot.
Also not self-evident: The support for WLAN networks in the latest ac standard. So, even those who have switched their wireless network to the interference-resistant 5 gigahertz band will have no problems getting online with the Huawei MateBook 13.
Display – not quite perfect
The 13.6-inch display of the Huawei MateBook 13 offers a FullHD resolution with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. This resolution is now standard and is found in most notebooks. Pictures are accordingly well displayed and longer typing and surfing the internet are no problem. Videos are also displayed in high quality.
Huawei has also given the MateBook 13 a matte screen, so that strong reflections are avoided. In direct sunlight the contents on the screen can still be seen, but the brightness is more suitable for working indoors. On the other hand, the image content doesn’t warp when viewed at an oblique angle and you only have to live with not quite as crisp colors. The contrast also turns out a bit low, which isn’t really disturbing in everyday office life.
We find working on the screen very pleasant. The quality also allows you to enjoy movies or series on the Huawei MateBook 13. However, headphones or external loudspeakers should be used, as the laptop speakers are too quiet.
A more positive impression is made by the keyboard in an island or chiclet design – that means that the keys are free standing. The pressure point of the keys is pleasant, which isn’t always the case in a rather affordable price range. The touchpad also triggers mouse clicks reliably and is well suited for controlling the mouse pointer precisely across the screen. Unfortunately, Huawei doesn’t install a keyboard light here.
There is simply no office notebook that meets all requirements. This also applies to the Huawei MateBook 13, so the CPU performance of the 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U Processor is easily sufficient for many office tasks, but those who also want to put a lot of strain on the graphics card won’t be happy here. The battery life could also be a bit longer. If you can do without the 13 inch display, you should reach for its bigger brother, the MateBook D 14. It has the identical hardware equipment in a more compact case and with a 14 inch display. The manufacturer has built a larger battery into the smaller model (56Wh in the D 14 vs. 42Wh in the D 15). In return, you don’t have the option of retrofitting a 2.5 inch hard disk in the Matebook D 14. But you should really get through a whole working day with the MateBook D 14’s battery without having to think about a power outlet.
The integrated graphics solution isn’t intended for demanding games. Games that are five years old and older run smoothly on low graphics settings, but the Intel HD 620 performance is not sufficient for more than casual games from the Windows store. This is the only way to avoid overtaxing the notebook, which is primarily intended for office use.
If you want to expand your MateBook 13, you don’t have many options either. Although the complete base plate can be removed with screws, only the SSD and the WLAN module can be exchanged inside. The RAM is soldered and there is also no free slot, in which one could accommodate an additional RAM module. At least Huawei relies on dual channel RAM, from which especially the iGPU benefits. We would have liked to have the possibility to upgrade the RAM anyway.
Another point of criticism concerns the built-in connections. Here, Huawei covers the basic needs of most users and also thinks of a modern USB type C connection. However, the power supply unit for charging the Huawei MateBook 13 has to be plugged into it. This means that whenever one uses the laptop in mains operation, the type-C port is occupied by the charging plug.
We would also have been happy about a keyboard illumination and that of the three USB type A ports, two of them only support the old USB 2.0 standard is also not optimal. At least there is a USB 3.0 port that should be used especially for copying larger amounts of data. An SD card reader is also not available, but other manufacturers are also doing without it more and more often.
Verdict: Great price-performance ratio Laptop with solid specs
Like many current notebooks, Huawei also does without a built-in DVD drive in the MateBook 13. If you want to install Office & Co. from a CD or DVD, you have to include an external DVD drive when buying.
The Huawei MateBook 13 convinces with a high-quality workmanship, a good battery life and a very good performance. Moreover, it is not expensive and thus becomes our new favorite and price-performance ratio winner.
Ranking Second: Acer Swift 3
- Best price-performance ratio of all Laptops
- Good input devices
- Stays cool even under load
- Solid chassis
- Memory not expandable
Our winner for best price-performance ratio overall
Strictly speaking, this notebook is called Acer Swift 3. This is important because Acer also offers the Swift 3 with a 15 inch screen and with very big differences in hardware. An 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U, which is also very energy-efficient, provides a lot of performance in our model variant. The maximum clock rate is 3.7 gigahertz and with a display diagonal of only 14 inches, the laptop is very compact and therefore easy to transport.
In addition to the processor, the 256 gigabyte SSD also ensures fast operation. The memory space isn’t exactly lavish, but it’s still sufficient for office applications and for storing your own data. If you want to store more data on your notebook, you can open the case, which is secured with a few screws, and exchange the easily accessible SSD on your own. External hard drives are also a good option thanks to the fast USB ports.
The Acer Swift 3 has a well-finished aluminum unibody case and isn’t too heavy with its 3.0 lbs. We also can’t complain about the battery life. The battery is sufficient for a working day of eight hours and you can get along well without a power adapter in your luggage. With its size, weight and battery life, the Swift 3 is therefore very suitable as a travel companion. Security is also taken care of, as the office notebook can be unlocked with a fingerprint sensor if desired. An optional cable lock can also be attached.
A matt screen is used in the Swift 3, which has the advantage that strong reflections and glosses don’t occur. We find working on the screen very pleasant. The quality allows the laptop to be used as a multimedia notebook in addition to the office. The display can’t keep up with more expensive models in terms of brightness, though. The Swift 3’s loudspeakers could also be better, as the laptop speakers aren’t exactly loud. Headphones or external speakers are therefore often a must if you want to enjoy multimedia content.
Verdict: Best price-performance ratio Laptop in our test
The integration of a USB port in modern type C format is also worth mentioning: if you want to use your smartphone with a USB C port on the Acer Swift 3, you no longer need to resort to an adapter. In return, the decision to make one of the regular USB ports according to the old USB 2.0 standard is somewhat questionable. Fortunately, there are enough alternative connections available for fast external hard disks or USB sticks.
All in all the Swift 3 has the best price-performance ratio of all laptops we tested. We can dfinitely recommend this laptop if you don’t want to spend too much, but also don’t want to compromise on performance.
Ranking Third: HP Probook 450
- Good battery life
- Powerful processor
- Great user experience
- Its input devices are perfectly responsive
- Display could be better
Solid price-performance ratio for an office laptop
Small screens aren’t everyone’s taste, which is why HP relies on a 15 inch display for the ProBook 455R G6. With its FullHD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, pictures and videos can be displayed in high quality. In addition, the large surface offers a better overview and allows two office windows to be comfortably displayed next to each other. The ProBook is only not suitable for outdoor work due to its low brightness.
As with our favorite, HP also relies on a mobile processor from Intel in the ProBook 455R G6. However, the even more powerful 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i5-8265U model is used here, which has even more computing power. The four cores can reach clock rates of up to 4 gigahertz and can handle a total of eight tasks simultaneously. The processor also brings along the integrated graphics unit Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, which isn’t suitable for games either, but still offers a bit more graphics performance. In addition, there is a solid 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD.
A lot of hard disk and RAM
With a measurements of 14.4″ x 10.1″ x 0.8″, the HP ProBook 455R G6 doesn’t fit in every backpack anymore. However, it is very flat with just under 0.8 inches and can also be called “mobile”. The latter characteristic is also not limited by the battery life, as the battery lasts for almost eight hours.
The keyboard is well suited for writing longer texts, but doesn’t have a number pad. The individual keys are sufficiently large and can be pressed comfortably. An illumination also ensures that letters can be seen in the dark. A clickpad is used as a mouse substitute, so the ProBook 455R G6 doesn’t offer any extra mouse keys, but you have to press the pad to click. This works very well and the mouse pointer can also be moved precisely over the screen.
However, the maintenance options are not as good. It’s hardly possible to open the laptop without a lot of skill, although it’s of course not impossible. If you feel confident enough to do this, you can replace the RAM yourself or install an additional hard disk.
Verdict: A great low-budget office laptop with a solid price-performance ratio
On the whole, the HP ProBook 455R G6 offers good value for money, but is already a somewhat cheaper device. There’s hardly anything to complain about and apart from the dark display and the hard to remove base plate, HP packs everything into one device that is necessary for office use – including a modern USB type C connection. All in all it offers a great price-performance ratio.
Buying Guide: Best price-performance ratio laptop
What is a laptop?
A laptop is a mobile alternative to traditional desktop computers. The manufacturers install the most important hardware of a desktop PC in a compact housing of a notebook. While a desktop computer – with the exception of all-in-one computers – requires an extra monitor, a laptop has a display built in directly. There is also a trackpad that serves as a replacement for a mouse. If you can’t do without the conventional computer mouse on a laptop, you can connect a mouse as an accessory via USB. Another difference between a laptop and a conventional computer: The built-in battery of the laptop, which provides you with energy.
There’s no real difference between how a laptop and a desktop works. As with the desktop computer, the processor calculates all necessary processes on the laptop. The graphic card transfers the calculated data to the integrated display. The main memory allows data to be buffered. In this respect, laptops often offer less memory than desktop computers. Most commercially available computers have enough RAM to allow you to work with them sensibly. Long-term storage of data and media is provided by the built-in hard drives. The laptop transmits sound signals with sound cards, and playback can be done, for example, via built-in speakers.
When buying a laptop, note the differences between the various displays. The portable ones use LED, IPS or OLED displays. LED panels are the cheapest, but have the disadvantage that black levels cannot be displayed very deeply. IPS displays offer you an enormously stable viewing angle as well as a strong color representation. OLED panels provide illumination for each pixel. The advantage is the very natural colour representation and deep black values. In return, laptops with an OLED display are more expensive.
Laptop purchase advice: What you should definitely pay attention to!
Before buying a laptop you need to consider some basic features. There are simply equipped laptops available in stores that are suitable for classic office applications. If you use various creative programs, such as software for image and video editing, you will need a more powerful computer. The same also applies if you want to play current games on your portable computer. If you belong to this target group, you should look for an additional good graphics card, with which you can ensure a high frame rate when playing.
The different types of notebooks you can choose from
These laptops are mostly entry-level models, because you can use the classic office applications with simply equipped models. Powerful components are being cut back on, so you can get solidly equipped office notebooks for well under 500 euros. Laptops in this category are mostly lightweight devices. However, with such a notebook you can neither enjoy current games nor video editing programs without having to expect numerous jerks.
As already mentioned, these are special laptops that have a touch screen display. Simply flip the display over to turn the laptop into a tablet. In such a case, the operating system switches directly to touch operation. Such a convertible is particularly suitable for users who primarily want to surf the Internet and only want to use office programs.
Laptops for creative people
If you frequently edit pictures or videos, the built-in processor must ensure a higher computing speed. In addition, the other components such as the graphics card or the main memory must be more powerful. The display must have a good resolution in order to display the content you want to edit on your device as well as possible.
The best gaming laptopsIf you want to play current bestsellers with your laptop, you need a very well equipped gaming laptop. The portability is hardly limited with most devices. With these models, you should take special care to ensure that you can use a sufficiently large battery despite the powerful components. Often the gaming time is limited to a few hours, as the battery cannot keep up with the performance of the other components.
Netbooks are very compact laptops. They have hardly any space for powerful hardware. Therefore, these devices are designed for simple office applications and surfing the Internet, as well as for comfortable transport. Accordingly, these models are very affordable.
Ultrabooks are laptops that are extremely flat and compact. On the other hand, unlike netbooks, these devices have powerful features.
Which technical characteristics and features should you check?
After we have informed you about the different types of notebooks, we will look at the detailed features below. Before you buy your new laptop, check which features are particularly important to you and which features you need when using your laptop.
The larger the display, the heavier the notebook. Many consumers get along very well with a 13 inch notebook. This display size is especially recommended for beginners or if you are on the road a lot and primarily surf the internet or read and answer emails. Another popular size for laptop displays is 15 inches. If you do a lot of graphical work on your laptop or dive into the world of the current bestselling games, you should consider a 17 inch display.
If you want to keep up with the times and enjoy watching videos or playing games on the go, you should go for a 4K display. With this resolution you can benefit from a detailed display of all content. In the notebook sector, however, this means that such displays are associated with high energy consumption. If you’re not a fan of games or Netflix and the like, and you don’t use your laptop professionally with graphics or image editing programs, Full-HD laptops should be enough for you. For most office applications or surfing the web, Full HD is always sufficient.
Laptop processors usually come from the manufacturers Intel or AMD. Entry-level models are often equipped with chips that are normally used in tablet computers. These often do not offer high performance. Everyday tasks such as using Word, Excel or Outlook and surfing the Internet are no problem with these processors. If you want to use more powerful software and perform more complex tasks with your notebook, you should go for a better processor such as the Intel i5.
Memory is as important for laptops as it is for desktops. Less than 4 gigabytes of RAM should not be installed. If there is a possibility and the budget is available, you should go for 8 gigabytes. Remember that you can sometimes upgrade the memory after you buy. However, this is no longer supported on current models from Apple. In the best case, you should choose a generous amount of memory at the time of purchase.
Graphics card and graphics performance
If you primarily surf the Internet with your notebook or edit documents such as spreadsheets, you do not need an additional graphics card. Instead, you can use the manufacturers’ integrated graphics solutions, known as Intel Graphics. A dedicated graphics card is recommended if you want to use your laptop primarily for creative programs, watching videos, movies and series, or playing games. Otherwise, your games or media will be very jerky or unusable.
Hard disk space
If you want to make sure that you start the operating system especially fast or do not have to wait forever when calling programs, you should at best rely on an SSD memory. This flash memory is also used in your smartphone. An SSD is more expensive than a classic HDD hard drive. As the prices for SSD memory have dropped sharply, it has become an affordable alternative in terms of storage options.
The size of the storage, whether SSD or HDD, depends on your personal storage habits. If you don’t store a lot of documents and media, or if you mostly use cloud storage, the size of the storage is only of secondary importance with a laptop.
If you want to connect additional devices or accessories to your laptop, you will need additional connectors, such as USB ports or a 3.5 millimeter jack for your headphones. Before you buy your laptop, check whether you need to connect headphones, external storage media, USB stick, printer or other devices to your laptop and whether the appropriate connections are available.
The power consumption and storage capacity of the built-in battery are crucial for the battery life of your laptop. A look at the current models in the trade shows that a runtime of between 5 and 12 hours is common. There are also notebooks that shine with longer battery life. In this case, however, you will have to accept a reduction in performance or pay considerably more.
If you plan to use the laptop mainly at home or in the office, you can safely neglect the battery life. If you use your laptop on the road a lot, battery life can be the most important factor, especially at work.
Windows, macOS or Chrome OS?
The operating system installed on your computer should also be considered carefully before you buy. For example, if you’ve been working happily with Windows for many years, there’s probably no reason to try a new operating system. Windows has the advantage of supporting frequently used applications. Most laptops come with this operating system. This is especially true for the inexpensive office laptops, which often have Microsoft Office pre-installed.
However, if you want to work with Apple’s macOS, you will need a MacBook. Apple MacBooks are considerably more expensive than Windows notebooks. In return you get well manufactured notebooks that are especially designed for applications that require creative people.
An alternative to macOS and Windows laptops are models equipped with Chrome OS from Google. These notebooks are called Chromebooks. Chromebooks are usually inexpensive and designed primarily for surfing the Internet and using the usual Google programs. If you primarily use Google Chrome, the office suite of the search engine giant or the cloud solution, a Chromebook could be a good choice for you.
How much do I have to pay for a new laptop?
It is not possible to give a specific price that your laptop may cost. The most popular models on the market cost between 200 and 2,000 Dollars. The decisive factor here is the equipment and the price-performance ratio. Therefore it is important that you clearly define in advance what hardware and features your new laptop should have. While you only pay a few hundred Dollars for a simple office laptop with a basic configuration, an averagely equipped gaming laptop can easily break the 1,000 Dollar mark, especially if you don’t look out for the price-performance ratio.
In certain cases it can be advantageous to buy a used laptop or a renewed model. With the latter you will receive a generally overhauled device with a warranty of usually one year. If you rarely use the laptop for simple applications, such a device can be a good solution for you.
Are there alternatives to the laptop?
There are no serious alternatives to the laptop. When it comes to performance, the desktop PC can keep up, or often perform better. However, you cannot simply take it with you to every location. Only tablets are as flexible as laptops. If you just want to run simple office or multimedia applications, or answer e-mail and use the Internet, you can use the tablet. But you can’t work effectively with powerful programs.
Where should I buy my laptop?
There are several options for buying your new laptop. You can buy the device at your local retailer. You should get expert advice from a specialist dealer, as well as from major electronics retailers. A small selection of mostly simple devices is available in the electronics department of large department stores, supermarkets or sometimes at discounters’ special offer weeks.
Online retailers like Amazon, on the other hand, offer a much larger selection of directly available models. In addition, you will find that the prices you pay in online shops are usually lower than in specialist shops or supermarkets.
What accessories are available for the laptop?
The list of possible accessories for laptops includes in particular devices that can significantly improve the comfort of use. Among the popular laptop accessories are computer mice. As the integrated trackpads of laptops often prove to be less precise and user-friendly, this is not particularly surprising. A computer mouse makes it easier to use your laptop. If you choose a Bluetooth mouse, you don’t need a USB port if your laptop has Bluetooth.
With external storage devices, you can add more storage space. Especially low-cost devices usually have no more than 128 gigabytes of hard disk space, which you can expand with an external hard disk or USB stick. A laptop can also be connected to an external drive such as a DVD burner. With a surf stick, you can easily surf the Internet on the go. Laptop bags or laptop backpacks are available to store your laptop when you travel.